Electronic medical records probed for over-billing

By Fred Schulte

Are feds doing all they can to ferret out waste from move to electronic records?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… be prompting some doctors and hospitals to improperly bill higher fees to Medicare. An investigation into those billing questions — which convened a hearin …"

"… al professionals have steadily billed higher rates for treating seniors on Medicare over the last decade — adding $11 billion or more to their fees. The inv …"

"… adding $11 billion or more to their fees. The investigation suggested that Medicare billing errors and abuses are worsening as doctors and hospitals switch to …"

"… re than $10 billion has been spent. Just over half the doctors now billing Medicare are using digital records. But critics of the initiative have claimed for …"

IMPACT: Administration official asks for Medicare billing review

By Fred Schulte

Administration official wants to know if electronic health records are causing Medicare over-billing

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Hospital Association":

"… y actually deliver — a practice known as “upcoding.”In response, the American Hospital Association and other groups that received the letter have sought to shift blame to th …"

Gingrich's health center was power player in a host of Washington policy debates

By Fred Schulte and Joe Eaton

Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation was power player on host of issues

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… ontract that paid $25,000 a month for services to troubled mortgage holder Freddie Mac, and has insisted nothing he did there constituted lobbying. But Romney ha …"

"… .”While much of the controversy has swirled around Gingrich’s work for Freddie Mac, the for-profit Center for Health Transformation signed up hundreds of hea …"

Panel recommends new agency to investigate safety of health information technology

By Kimberly Leonard

Institute of Medicine panel recommends new regulatory body, not FDA

Excerpts from this story referencing "FDA":

"… rganization, is explicitly advising that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not be tasked with the job at this time — a recommendation that is boun …"

"… nd other medical technology must; most of that oversight is handled by the FDA. But at the moment, no one is required to report instances of harm caused …"

"… how to maximize health IT safety.In its report, the IOM committee says the FDA would likely restrict market innovation in health IT, which could also jeo …"

"… acturers’ flexibility to address complex issues,” the report says. The FDA currently receives voluntary reports of health IT-related incidents, but h …"

As states build exchanges, questions linger about interoperability

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Lingering questions about interoperability of state health information exchanges

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dori Henry":

"… so they could more easily claim more progress, she said.A National ExchangeDori Henry, director of communications for Maryland’s Department of Health and Ment …"

Stimulus funds will build state health exchanges but might not sustain them

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Federal stimulus money will build exchanges, but may not be enough to sustain them

Excerpts from this story referencing "CEO":

"… as been financial, and ONC is supplying that for us,” said Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership, the non-profit designated by t …"

"… ng government funding, sustainability will be a challenge.Gene Ransom III, CEO of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, said long-term payment plan …"

Health information technology: Keep it simple

By Kimberly Leonard

Reports say systems must be understandable to avoid dangerous medical errors

Health information technology: Incentives may not always serve intended purpose

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Some payments may be going to doctors who have been using electronic health records for years

Excerpts from this story referencing "Anna Eshoo":

"… ve it’s important not to penalize early adopters of the technology. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., introduced a bill in 2007 that provided much of the basis for w …"

Podiatrists have their foot in the door

By Josh Israel and Kimberly Leonard

Podiatrists are taking advantage of payments for installing electronic health records

Excerpts from this story referencing "diabetes":

"… For diabetics I can keep a closer eye on them to help better manage their diabetes and potential complications.”Some in the medical community are not thril …"

Only 15 of top 100 health information technology firms are lobbying on health IT

By Josh Israel

Many of the top health information technnology firms don't lobby on health IT

Just 16 of top health IT firms maintain corporate PACs

By Josh Israel

Many of the major players in health information technology do not sponsor corporate political action committees

Excerpts from this story referencing "General Electric":

"… gn cycle; the second largest company, Dell, distributed at least $125,000; General Electric, parent company of GE Healthcare (#4) distributed more than $1.5 million; …"

"… ntributions to “advance [its] views on public policy.” Cognizant, General Electric, Cerner, CSC, Siemens, and Philips did not respond to requests for comment …"

Privacy advocates want stricter rules for online, patient-controlled health records

By Kimberly Leonard

Privacy groups say clearer rules are needed for online, patient-controlled health records, but an HHS study of the issue is 18 months late

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Trade Commission":

"… been attempting for years to beef up protections, with little success. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) acts as a partial safeguard for the public when it comes to handling …"

"… secute cases of unfair or deceptive practices outlined in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.  For instance, if a company says in its policy that it will neve …"

Excluded groups want in on health information technology funding

By Kimberly Leonard

Economic stimulus package has $27 billion for health IT; excluded providers are fighting for a slice

Excerpts from this story referencing "Healthcare Leadership Council":

"… n in 2007, said Tina Olson Grande, senior vice president for policy at the Healthcare Leadership Council. In the fall of 2008, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., chairman of the House Way …"

Insurance brokers seek health reform change to safeguard profits

By Josh Israel

Insurance brokers seek change in health reform provision to protect profits

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lynn Quincy":

"… r some consumer-oriented health care experts, that seems eminently logical.Lynn Quincy, senior health policy analyst at the nonprofit Consumers Union, does …"

Proposed bill aims to expand health IT funds to mental health providers

By Kimberly Leonard and Josh Israel

Stimulus bill left many providers out, but costs of including them may doom the measure....

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… ealth providers.Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act, the likely vehicle for this effort, earlier th …"

"… atmosphere of spending restraint.If enacted, the measure would extend the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act porti …"

"… e would extend the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act portion of the 2009 stimulus legislation. HITECH offers fundi …"

"… oners, long-term care providers, post-acute providers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, rehabilitation hospitals, and cancer center …"

GOP deficit-cutters eye health IT stimulus funds as Obama’s point man leaves

By Kimberly Leonard

Billions of unspent stimulus dollars slated for electronic health records are now a target for lawmakers searching the federal budget for cu

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kentucky":

"… 0.4 million has been spent, said a CMS press officer. Only four states — Kentucky, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Iowa — have begun to coordinate Medicaid incent …"

"… d Iowa — have begun to coordinate Medicaid incentive checks to providers.Kentucky was the first state to begin administering those Medicaid payments. It is …"

"… lways fear of losing the funds,” said Jeff Brady, executive director for Kentucky’s Office of Electronic Health Information. “You hang a $27 billion pie …"

Will digital technology reduce gap in health between rich and poor?

By Emma Schwartz

Two years ago, the Ethio American Health Center opened its doors in the nation’s capital, promising the country’s largest community of Ethio

Excerpts from this story referencing "diseases":

"… minorities still receive worse care and have higher rates of most chronic diseases than whites, according to the 2009 report on health care disparities by th …"

"… new electronic data may help the medical profession better understand how diseases impact minority communities.For instance, at Morehouse School of Medicine …"

Push for safety oversight of electronic medical records is moving at a crawl

By Emma Schwartz

Nearly two years after the Obama administration announced plans to spend $40 billion to help doctors and hospitals adopt electronic medical

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… afer than the paper world,” said Blumenthal, who heads the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Inform …"

"… ent of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. “But we still have to be wary and attentive to o …"

"… Jeffery Shuren, head of the agency’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, told the committee.A new patient safety organization backed by medical ma …"

"… stem, recently launched to collect voluntary reports.And the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research is develo …"

FDA, Obama digital medical records team at odds over safety oversight

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Previously undisclosed hospital mixup underscores challenges on road to reform

Excerpts from this story referencing "physician":

"… to promote the technology’s swift adoption. Under Blumenthal, a Harvard physician, the office has campaigned tirelessly since last April to sell the medical …"

"… eeting obtained by the Investigative Fund.In backing her staff, Hamburg, a physician, risked a collision with a top White House goal to roll out the electronic …"

Amid digital records surge, a lack of policing by the FDA

By Emma Schwartz and Fred Schulte

Government offers incentives to buy electronic devices it doesn't track for safety

Excerpts from this story referencing "Food and Drug Administration":

"… ing the safety of these products, agency data and audits show.Instead, the Food and Drug Administration depends on a spotty warning system that can take a year to flag serious co …"

As doctors shift to electronic health systems, signs of harm emerge

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Reports link system malfunctions to injuries, deaths

Excerpts from this story referencing "Cerner":

"… e late December, 18 reports received by the FDA involved one manufacturer, Cerner Corp., which sells CPOE devices and other electronic record systems.One pa …"

"… e reports filed by physicians alleged malfunctions or poor designs of Cerner's CPOE equipment. One criticized “user unfriendly interfaces” and scre …"

"… ing acute asthma attack” in a patient given the wrong drug.Gay Johannes, Cerner’s vice president and chief quality officer, said in a prepared statement …"

"… s process that has been in place for many years and investigate all claims Cerner receives or are filed with the FDA.” [Click for the full statement. …"

Effort to track medical safety issues faces long road ahead

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Panel seeks centralized data on hazards related to digital systems

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumers Union":

"… ntial lawsuits that could arise from reports made public.Steven Findlay, a Consumers Union analyst who serves on the standards advisory panel, disagrees. “If it’ …"

FDA asks hospitals to report safety glitches in digital health systems

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

In letter to 350 health centers, agency signals growing concern

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… t month, Marilyn Flack, of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said use of digital medical equipment “continues to grow and affect pat …"

Stimulus to push electronic health records could widen 'digital divide'

By Fred Schulte

Federal plan may leave behind small hospitals and rural doctors

Excerpts from this story referencing "Consumers Union":

"… ed users might come up short.Steven Findlay, a standards panel member from Consumers Union — the nonprofit that publishes Consumer Reports magazine — said the go …"

Experts: Safety oversight needed as patient records go digital

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

With digital transition approaching for many practices, safety and security issues continue to surface

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jeffrey Shuren":

"… t to lay out proposals for regulating the devices for the first time. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, sugge …"

FDA considers regulating safety of electronic health systems

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Reports of patient harm include six deaths in two years

Excerpts from this story referencing "Jeffrey Shuren":

"… t deaths and several dozen injuries linked to malfunctions in the systems, Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said …"

Shopping for health software, some doctors get buyer’s remorse

By Emma Schwartz

Volatile industry prompts calls for oversight of firms’ financial strength

Excerpts from this story referencing "Technology":

"… oversight through the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), a nonprofit organization contracted by the government to certify …"

Switch to electronic health records could miss federal targets

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Cut in stimulus spending suggests early estimates of the cost for the switch were too optimistic

Excerpts from this story referencing "Technology":

"… ials and David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.The document provides the most detailed information to date on the progres …"

Daschle had public and private role in push for digital health records

By Fred Schulte and Emma Schwartz

Former Sen. Tom Daschle kept Washington's revolving door spinning

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harry Reid":

"… p at a private meeting on Nov. 30 in the office of Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-Nev.), where top Senate and White House officials had huddled to hash o …"

Stimulus fuels gold rush for electronic health systems

By Fred Schulte

Competition among companies spawns bus tour, creative sales techniques

Excerpts from this story referencing "Microsoft":

"… . But some of the world’s largest companies, including General Electric, Microsoft, Dell and German-based Siemens Corp., already are working hard to sign up …"

"… us tour” to boost sales. So far, the tour, which includes officials from Microsoft, Dell and Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, has played in more than 3 …"

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